5414. El Transito Synagogue in Toledo, Spain. Built by Samuel Ben Meir Ha-Levi Abulafia in c.1320-1360. The dedicational inscription.

This is one of Flory’s most important songs, and is one of a handful from the Sephardic song repertoire that express the longing for Spain that Sephardic exiles felt—and that many still feel more than five centuries later. After all, Jews had settled in Spain during Roman times, perhaps even earlier, and many had prospered and held important positions in the royal courts as well as making significant contributions to the scientific, cultural, and intellectual life in Spain, especially under Moorish rule (711 – 1492). When the infamous Edict of Expulsion was issued by Ferdinand and Isabella in January 1492 Jews were given three months to either convert to Catholicism or leave the country; those who chose conversion often became targets of the Inquisition for practicing Judaism in secret. The number who chose exile is unknown, but most scholars agree that well in excess of 100,000 left for Portugal (only to be exiled again in 1497), North Africa, southern France, Italy, the Balkans (Greece in particular), and Turkey. Flory’s song speaks poignantly of the longing the exiles felt, saying that when the Jews left their homes they took their house keys in hopes of someday returning. Several years ago Flory taught Howard the accompaniment and he performed it with her many times, and she later taught the vocal part to Susan.

Susan, vocals; Howard, guitar.

LADINO ENGLISH
Onde sta la yave ke stava in kashon? Where is the key that was in the drawer?
Mis nonus la trusheron kun grande dolor My forefathers brought it with great pain
De su kaza d’Espanya, d’ Espanya. From their house in Spain.
S’huenyos d’Espanya. Dreams of Spain.
Onde sta la yave ke stava in kashon? Where is the key that was in the drawer?
Mis nonus la trusheron kun grande amor; My forefathers brought it with great love;
Disheron a los fijos, esto es il korason They told their children, this is the heart
De muestra caza d’Espanya, d’Espanya. Of our home in Spain.
S’huenyos d’Espanya. Dreams of Spain
Onde sta la yave ke stava in kashon? Where is the key that was in the drawer?
Mis nonus la trusheron kun grande amor; My forefathers brought it with great love;
La dyeron a los nyetos a meter la a kashon, They gave it to their grandchildren to keep in a drawer
Muestra yave d’Espanya, d’Espanya. Our key from Spain.
S’huenyos d’Espanya. Dreams of Spain